The Town of Ladysmith is collaborating with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island (BGCCVI) to create new child care spaces after receiving an $875,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).
“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about finding affordable and local childcare options and these new spaces, in addition to those recently announced by Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools, help to directly address a critical shortage facing our community,” said Mayor Aaron Stone. “This investment provides long-term solutions by improving access to care while at the same time making the necessary enhancements to the existing facility.”
The new childcare spaces are being created at the BGCCVI’s Ladysmith location at 220 High Street. The grant program requires the municipality own the building where the spaces are being created and enter into a 15-year commitment with the province to deliver child care to the community.
BGCCVI executive director, Karen Love said the grant will create 12 new child care spaces for infants and toddlers in Ladysmith. A large portion of the funding will go toward an 800 square-foot expansion of the BGCCVI club building, and an outdoor playground.
“Best practice in child care is having good quality outdoor spaces for kids, so that’ll be a big focus for us,” Love said. “Also, transportation is included. We hope to use some of the funds to get a bus, so we can pick our kids up before and after school.”
The provincial funding will also provide opportunities for professional training for BGCCVI staff.
In the future, the Town will complete an 800 sq-ft addition to current building and install a new playground in order to accommodate the increased level of service delivery. Construction of the new addition will not impact any ongoing BGCCVI programs.
BGCCVI has been operating in Ladysmith since 1985, and has developed a strong relationship with the Town of Ladysmith. Love said that she looks forward to working with the Town of Ladysmith on more opportunities moving forward.
“Ultimately, without the partnerships you won’t get as good of an outcome for the kids. They’re our adults of the future. We have to make sure we’re doing everything we can for them,” she said.